How to Clean When You Hate Cleaning

I despise cleaning my house. I like seeing and having a clean house, but I hate having to clean it. I could hire a housekeeper, but that seems totally ridiculous seeing that I am a stay at home mom and I could do it myself. Plus, why spend money on a housekeeper when I could use it for something better? Like shoes. My house really does needs constant cleaning though (with two dogs and a newborn), so I developed a system where I would be rewarded or punished if I cleaned or didn't clean it. I love reward systems because it is like receiving a  "Good Job" sticker on an assignment in elementary school. It also gave me something to look forward to while doing an unfavorable task. However, I soon learned just jumping in, cleaning, and then giving myself a small treat after I cleaned wasn't enough. I dislike cleaning so much that I needed to develop a way to clean that was quick, efficient, and effective. I call it "The Lazy Mom's Guide to Actually Getting Her House Semi-Clean" (I will have to work on a shorter title). It is 6 easy steps:

  1. First, sit down and write a reward/punishment list. Yep, you get to put off cleaning for a little bit longer. Yay! Basically, your rewards and punishments can reflect something small that you will receive or have to do after you clean/don't clean each room. Or it can be something big, for when you finish cleaning/not cleaning the entire house. Find a happy medium to ensure you will want to keep cleaning. Also, stay committed to your punishments. If you promised that you would do 20 burpees if you didn't clean the master bathroom, do them. Subscribe below for your Rewards/Punishment List Template.
  2. Next, write down the tasks you want to accomplish in each room. This will ensure you have cleaned everything you were supposed to, leaving your house sparkling. Examples could be, dusting the blinds, wiping down baseboards, cleaning countertops. Subscribe below for your Cleaning Task List Template.
  3. Review your task list and jot down supplies you will need. You will want to make sure you have cleaning supplies ready to go. It would be a shame if you started cleaning your bathroom and realized you don't have gloves to wear while scrubbing your toilet. Be prepared.
  4. Now you are actually ready to start cleaning. I recommend cleaning something that will get you in the "cleaning zone". Mine is organizing/going through my clothes. I love looking at my clothes. I can put together cute outfits and set them aside or organize my shoes into their respective bins. I can even donate/trash items that are old, damaged or don't see the light of day anymore. Once I get started organizing, I can't stop. I found my groove and I have the desire to clean everything. Find your cleaning motivator. (Remember not to get sucked into the vortex of cleaning this one thing for hours on end. Set a time limit so you actually get to cleaning the rest of your house)
  5. Now that you are a mean, lean, cleaning machine, work through each of the tasks for each room. You can turn up some music, listen to an audiobook, put Netflix on in the background, anything to keep your groove going. Just because you are cleaning doesn't mean it has to be boring! Personally, I like to incorporate work outs into my cleaning duties. For instance, if anything is on the floor I will squat to pick it up. A clean floor and a toned booty? Yes please!
  6. FINALLY! YOU FINISHED CLEANING AND CAN NOW CLAIM YOUR REWARD! YAY! Or you slacked off and need to perform your punishment. Go run that mile or pay up the $20 you bet if you didn't clean. 

Extra tips and tricks:

  •  You don't have to clean everything in a two hour time span. Take your time. If you end up doing one room a day that is okay. Make a plan that works for you. 
  • Once something gets messy clean it RIGHT AWAY. For example, if you get out all the fixings for a sandwich, make your sandwich then put everything away before you eat. Or, right after you finish eating dinner, do the dishes. Don't let them pile up in the sink. If you keep on top of it, you won't have to clean as much on your BIG cleaning day.